Pope John Paul II Takes Batting Practice in California, 1987

Pope John Paul II had a mixed legacy. Some good, some bad. But whatever your take on him, you have to give him this — the Pontiff could swing a good bat. Visiting California in 1987, the 67 year-old Pope headed to the batting cages and started lining singles and doubles, maybe even a few triples. As the video proceeds, we discover that the switch-hitting Pope had previously honed his batting skills in the Vatican Softball League. The clip concludes with the gracious hosts giving the Pope the royal treatment, treating him to a nice 1980s-style energy drink in a styrofoam cup. Pretty posh. h/t Metafilter

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  1. Mary says . . . | January 23, 2013 / 11:24 am

    He looks like Obi Won Kanobi swinging a lightsaber…

  2. Jimmy Jazz says . . . | January 23, 2013 / 3:04 pm

    Thats not the pope. Doppelgänger.

  3. Mike says . . . | January 24, 2013 / 8:04 pm

    I wanted this to be real so bad…but close up it’s not him. Am I right?

  4. Midori says . . . | February 11, 2013 / 8:18 am

    Not the Pope — for one thing, based on their collars, the Pope appears to be traveling with Anglican priests not Roman Catholic priests. His accent is wrong, his shoes are wrong. Most likely papal impersonator Gene Greytak — this was probably a stunt for Grand Slam USA.

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